A Frederick County councilman ruffled feathers with some fellow Republicans after apparently deciding to stay on the Frederick County Republican Central Committee while running in a primary.
Councilman Billy Shreve has filed to run against Craig Giangrande in the Maryland Senate District 3 Republican primary.
Lois Gibson, treasurer of the Greater Frederick Republican Women, sent a letter Wednesday expressing concern that Shreve continued to sit on the committee.
She cited the group’s bylaws, which state that a candidate should resign from the committee if they intend to run against another Republican.
Gibson pointed to the committee's bylaw 6A: "Any FCRCC member who intends to run against another Republican (other than for Central Committee) should, upon filing, resign from his or her position on the FCRCC since such a candidacy creates a conflict of interest between the member's personal interests and the interests of the FCRCC and/or Party."
In a phone interview before the letter was sent, Shreve said the bylaws did not require him to resign and he intended to stay on the committee. He did not return phone messages left Thursday requesting comment on Gibson's letter. While "should" could be interpreted legally to mean that something is discretionary, Gibson pointed to the Oxford English Dictionary definition, which states that the word "should" indicates an obligation or duty to do something.
Gibson noted that Shreve is the chairman of the central committee's campaign subcommittee, which carries with it the responsibility of working with candidates to relay their message.
"We have a responsibility to make sure our house is in order. ... There is nothing ethical about this," she said in a phone interview.
She asked that the committee take up the issue at its next meeting.
"If he has integrity he should, in fact, resign," she said.
After he filed his candidacy for re-election to the central committee last week and as the candidate filing deadline approached, a slew of last-minute contenders entered the race for one of the nine central committee seats.
Many are running in another race, including:
- Delegate Kathy Afzali (R-District 4), who is running for county executive.
- Liquor Board Chairman Jesse Pippy, who is running for delegate in District 4.
- Delegate Barrie Ciliberti (R-District 4), who is seeking re-election.
- Dan Cox, who is running for delegate in District 4.
- Mary Rolle, who is running for Orphans Court judge.
Gibson said those races didn’t cause concern because if the candidates win a central committee seat, they would not be members until after the primary election.
Other committee hopefuls include Jeremy Abbott, Clayton Boon, Pamela Ciliberti, Karen Dacey, Michael Hill, JoeyLynn Hough, Cynthia Houser, Daniel Keller, Angela McIntosh, Connie Onspaugh, Joe Parsley, David Perez, Carl Thomas Jr. and Cynthia Trout.
Fresh figures: An independent poll of 500 Democratic likely voters released Thursday by Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy found that Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker leads the nine candidates in the Democratic primary.
Baker is favored by 26 percent of those polled, followed by 15 percent support for Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz and 14 percent support for former NAACP President Ben Jealous. All other candidates combined attracted 13 percent of likely voters, while 32 percent said they were undecided. In Western Maryland and the Eastern Shore, 56 percent of voters are undecided.
The poll was conducted last week and has a margin of error of 4.5 percentage points.
A second portion of the poll released Friday — covering the opinions of 625 registered voters of both parties — showed that Gov. Larry Hogan (R) maintains a 63 percent approval rating.
About 85 percent of Republicans approve of the job Hogan is doing. Fifty-two percent of Democrats agreed, though only 1 in 3 Democrats were inclined to re-elect him.
In head-to-head match-ups, Hogan is ahead of the top Democratic candidates, with 49 and 51 percent of the vote when compared with Baker (36 percent), Kamenetz (34 percent) and Jealous (33 percent).
Pollsters cautioned that as the Democratic candidates become more familiar to party voters, it will be a challenge for Hogan to hold his current crossover vote.
The margin of error for the second half of the poll is about 4 percentage points.
Meet the candidates: The Monocacy Plowman and Fisherman Club, part of the county Democratic central committee, is holding an evening with the Democratic candidates for governor on Wednesday from 6 to 7:30 p.m.
Tickets for the event are $75 for two people. Three-event membership plans are also available. For more information, go to www.frederickdemocrats.org/events.
Staff writer Danielle E. Gaines contributed to this week's column.